Mental Health

The Meaning of Reframing (And How it Can Help You)

Table of Contents

There is a great power that few talk about.

And yet most of us use it all the time.

It’s the power of taking your perception of an event or set of circumstances–and whipping it around into a different and better perspective.

Read on to learn about the meaning of reframing.

The Mysterious Meaning of Reframing

I had heart surgery at the age of 24, right before I turned 25.

When it was happening, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me.

I thought that’s how I would always think of it.

But the brain is magical and can come up with new meanings if you allow it.

As the years went by, I realized that my heart surgery was actually the best thing that ever happened to me.

It made me wake up to my life.

It made me realize what’s important.

It put me on the path that I’m on right now–a mental health advocate helping others learn about a topic I love so much.

If I hadn’t had heart surgery, I never would have left a career that brought little fulfillment to pursue a career in mental health.

In a strange and mysterious way, I wouldn’t have had the surgery-related mental health breakdown that has given the most meaning in my life.

Now, instead of looking at my heart surgery as the worst thing that has happened to me, I see it as a gift. I truly do.

This is reframing: taking a stale view of the world and turning it into something great.

But how can you apply this in your life?

I’m certainly not going to recommend that you go try to make yourself have heart surgery so that you can turn your life around.

Your path is your own, and the events that transpire will be yours alone to deal with.

But you can learn to see events in a new light.

You can learn to reframe them.

Here are Two Big Examples of Reframing

Here are two big examples of reframing.

Your friend may not hate you.

Maybe they are just having a bad day.

Maybe they didn’t sleep well–and that’s what’s affecting their mood.

Maybe it’s not about you at all!

The world probably isn’t out to get you.

Maybe so much of life is just random.

Maybe, instead of hoping that the proverbial bouncing ball takes a leap in your direction, you work hard on building a strong foundation that makes it more likely the ball bounces toward you?

The well prepared tend to have the best luck–or, at least, they know how to take advantage of it.

There are countless ways you can change how you look at things.

It’s a skill to be learned, a muscle to be strengthened.

So try it right now.

What’s one situation that has been bothering you?

Now, how can you use your newfound power to reframe it?

See what I mean?

Use your power wisely.

It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.
Kristin Armstrong

The good thing about a frame? It goes wherever you are.

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